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GITC4 is the fourth version of the Government Information Technology and Communications contracting framework for Commonwealth procurement of ICT products and services. GITC4.1 is the latest release of the framework, including Terms and Conditions which can be used as the basis for building a contract between suppliers and government agencies.
While the framework was drafted primarily for Commonwealth departments and agencies, it is sufficiently flexible for use by State and Territory Governments without substantial amendment.
The original version of GITC4, which, unlike the revised version, included a pro forma Head Agreement, was accepted by the Australian Government and the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) for use in transactions involving government acquisition of information technology and communications products or services (including major office machines).
GITC4.1 incorporates revisions to the original version of GITC4 to reflect policy developments concerning capping of liability and intellectual property and the cessation of Endorsed Supplier Arrangements (ESA) on 29 November 2006. Following the cessation of ESA a Head Agreement was no longer appropriate.
Anyone utilising GITC4.1 should first familiarise themselves with the Terms and Conditions and this User Guide. The Terms and Conditions provide a general legal framework for the construction of a specific contract.
Details of the contractual relationship are entered into the Appendices and Attachments, particularly the Contract Details (Appendix 1). The Contract Details also allow the parties to document their agreed position on certain provisions in the Terms and Conditions. For example, some clauses have default positions that favour one party 'unless otherwise specified to the contrary in the Contract Details'. It follows that the effect of the standard Terms and Conditions can in some instances be altered by the Contract Details.
To properly use the GITC framework, a user should have an ability to understand the meaning and implications of the Terms and Conditions together with an ability to competently complete the Appendices and Attachments.
This User Guide does not attempt to summarise the Terms and Conditions or explain the legal meaning behind each of the provisions. Users may call upon whatever resources they feel necessary to familiarise themselves with the structure and legal implications of the contract.
The purpose of the Guide is to clarify what considerations should be taken into account when completing the Appendices and Attachments and in some cases to provide links or references to other sources of information which may be of help.
Development of GITC4 involved extensive consultation with industry representatives. In particular, representatives from the Australian Information Industry Association worked closely with the Department of Finance and Deregulation to finalise the framework and its provisions. This collaboration supported the implementation of a legal framework that both parties consider fair and equitable.
GITC4 was developed primarily for use by Australian Government customers with their suppliers of IT. However, the framework is flexible for use at the State, Territory and Local Government level.
If you wish to supply products and services to government customers under the GITC4 framework, by all means make this suggestion. However be aware that each State, Territory and Local Government may have its own policy in relation to the procurement of ICT goods and services.
Most State and Territory Governments are using some form of GITC. For example, the Queensland Government has established the Government Information Technology Contracting Framework (GITC V5) for Government procurement of ICT products and services.
The Useful Links page provides access to each State and Territory Government web site. It is recommended that before a GITC contract is established that you contact the appropriate purchasing body in your jurisdiction to determine which legal framework needs to be used.
Australian Government customers can contact the Helpline for more information about GITC4.
Depending on how a GITC contract is drafted and implemented, various laws come into effect in relation to the contract upon its signing. Furthermore, which legal jurisdiction governs the contract, i.e. which State, Territory or level of government in which the contract is signed, largely determines what laws are applicable.
These laws include but are not limited to, the:
Entering into a contract can be a significant and complex exercise and the ramifications of any mistakes can be far reaching. The engagement of lawyers may be appropriate but their function may vary depending on the nature of the transaction.
Whenever uncertainty exists (for example, in relation to the meaning of certain provisions, the implications of changes to standard wording, the nature of information to be included in the Appendices and Attachments or the adequacy of accompanying documentation), it may be appropriate to seek legal advice. It may also be appropriate for parties to engage legal assistance for negotiations between them.
Nevertheless, the extent of legal input will inevitably be reduced if the standard Terms and Conditions are used. This will limit the need for lawyers to draft these provisions afresh.
The use of the GITC4 is not mandated by any Federal Government legislation.
GITC4 has been developed for the primary purpose of facilitating procurement by Australian Government customers under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act). However, organisations under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act) may also choose to use GITC.
GITC4.1 includes revised provisions concerning capping of liability, which accord with:
As indicated in the above publications, the Australian Government’s ICT liability policy (released on 16 August 2006) is that unlimited supplier liability is only included in ICT contracts when there is a compelling reason, rather than as the norm.
GITC4 makes provision for a range of issues relating to the intellectual property rights of the parties. Intellectual property can be broadly described as the rights granted by law in relation to the fruits of human creative activity, including copyright, patents, trade marks and designs.
The whole of government approach to the management of intellectual property by government agencies is set out in the Statement of Intellectual Property Principles for Australian government agencies, which can be found at http://www.ag.gov.au/
Agencies and suppliers are encouraged to seek advice from their legal or procurement advisers before deciding on appropriate intellectual property rights clauses.
The Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines ( CPGs) apply to Departments and agencies subject to the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and their officials when performing duties in relation to procurement. Also, certain bodies to whom the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 applies can be directed by the Finance Minister to apply the CPGs.
An official to whom the CPGs apply must have regard to these guidelines when performing duties in relation to the procurement of property or services.
An official who takes action that is not consistent with the Guidelines must make a written record of his or her reasons for doing so.
Because use of the GITC4 is not compulsory, the parties are free to vary by agreement any part of the Terms and Conditions.
Each party is entitled to presume, however, that no alterations have been made to the standard Terms and Conditions as published unless these alterations have been brought to its attention by the party seeking to make the change.
It is most important that this principle be observed. The benefits of standardisation will be undermined if regular users are required to re-read the Terms and Conditions in detail on each occasion in order to ascertain whether the other party has altered the usual wording. Therefore, if changes to the Terms and Conditions are being proposed, the party proposing those changes should alert the other party and seek agreement to those changes.
These Terms and Conditions endeavour to cater for most instances of procurement of IT products and services. Because they were developed in consultation between the AIIA and the Australian Government, it is expected that in a majority of instances these provisions will adequately balance the interests of both parties.
Used in their standard form, these Terms and Conditions can:
The GITC site has been developed with accessibility in mind. If the site doesn't automatically determine that you are using frames, or you just prefer not to use frames, use the following link:
Some browsers, such as Internet Explorer 4, don't strictly adhere to download guidelines which may cause problems downloading the contract. Refer to MSKB Q182315 at Microsoft.
If you are experiencing problems, from the 'Print' page in Build a Contract perform the following:
This document provides information to the user about the GITC web site's system requirements. It details how to best view the material on the site.
The data that is entered into the electronic forms available on this site is not collected and stored by the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance). Finance manages the web site and its online content, however, if you enter data in forms such as the Contract Details, that data can only be stored at your PC, whether on disk or another drive.
To ensure that the data you enter is protected, the GITC site uses Secure Socket Layer at 40 bit encryption. When you enter data into the Contract Details (in the Build a Contract section) and wish to save your work, the system will scramble the data whilst being transferred. This will minimise the risk of your data being easily readable and being intercepted. Likewise, when you upload a previously saved document to the site the system will scramble the data.
Use of the Build a Contract section in GITC is optional. If you are uncomfortable with entering data into the system and downloading it to your PC, you have the option of downloading the template material and filling out the Contract Details and its Attachments offline. If you wish to work offline, also download the User Guides which will assist you in using GITC.
Please refer to the Disclaimer for more information regarding the use of security on this site.
For a better experience, it is recommended that you use a recent web browser to take advantage of frames, dynamic menus and dialog boxes. However, version 3 of both Netscape and Internet Explorer are sufficient.
This site is best viewed at a resolution of 800 x 600 using at least 256 colours. However, the site is quite useable at 640 x 480 with 16 colours although some pages may require scrolling horizontally when viewing their content.
The site utilises the following file types:
Hypertext Markup Language. This is the format used by web browsers to display general information.
Extensible Markup Language. This is the format the Build a Contract system of the site uses to save and load contract information between user sessions. There is no requirement for any software to be installed on the user's machine for this type of file.
Rich Text Format. RTF is a method of formatting text for interchange between different output devices, operating environments, and operating systems. RTF is the final product of the Build a Contract system. It is also used for downloadable versions of the Terms & Conditions and Head Agreement.
ZIP is a method of distributing and storing 'archives', one or more files that are usually compressed to save space and download time.
The site contains a number of files that can be downloaded, usually in RTF or ZIP formats. These files are generally small in size and thus take little time to download.